So, I've been seriously thinking about whether I want to do this again next year. Last year was my first time doing it, and I got a lot out of it. I started this blog because I was inspired by my friend Hedwig (see sidebar). I saw how much she got out of her blog, and I realized one night that I could do a blog about the books I read, since I didn't have cable at the time and had precious little else to do at night but read. But I'd always kind of done it half-assed. I'd post when I felt like it, forget about it the rest of the time, and I never seriously worked at bringing more traffic to the blog, or becoming part of a community of bloggers, or anything like that.
I learned about NaBloPoMo at Jen Lancaster's blog (also on sidebar) and decided to try it. Last year, I really enjoyed it. I joined a million groups and started a lot more. Every time I went to their site, there was a lot of action. The groups were all busy, people supported one another, I got a lot of new readers and learned about a lot of cool new blogs.
This year...not so much. The site is starting to take on the same feel as a virtually-abandoned mall, where the proprietors of the few remaining businesses stand in front of their stores, alone amidst a sea of vacant spaces while handfuls of elderly mallwalkers meander by. Only a handful of new groups were created this year, and all of the groups I made and joined have been deader than dead. I tried to get some discussion going in a couple of them, but no one replied. A "poll of the week" question remained the same for about three weeks straight before it was taken down and not replaced. Even the activity section has slacked off. It used to be that the "latest posts" all hit within the last two minutes: in other words, new posts were constantly going up. I looked now and some of them have been up there for over a half hour.
So on one hand, I'm not sure if I'm going to do it next year. But on the other hand, maybe NaBloPoMo has transcended its site. Maybe people aren't going there to talk about it anymore, maybe they're just doing it. But I miss the sense of community, personally. Now that I'm in the home stretch, this has started to feel less like fun, and more like how I have to clean the coffeepot out every day.